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Loading Plugins and maintaining the Eclipse Environment

 
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I usually download the plugin zip file and manually install it into the appropriate folder.
I do this so I have a copy of the plugin. It looks like directly loading using the Update Manager would not give me a copy.
I have had to reload Eclipse a couple of times so I try to keep it easy to recreate my current environment.
 
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Jim, I am not sure but update manager should download a zipped plugin anyway that should be reusable.
 
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This whole area of installing plug-ins is tricky.
First-off, if you used Update Manager to install a feature and its associated plug-ins, they are installed on your machine. The update manager downloads them from the URL you opened (where a site.xml file was found to define the features that could be installed) and then writes them to the install site you identified.
The default install site is the current Eclipse directory. This means they are just added to your current \features and \plugins dirs. With this choice, every workspace you open will 'see' those plug-ins. If you choose a new install site for update manager to use then the features/plugins installed are only visible to the workspace you used during the install. If you look down in the workspace/.metadata/.config dir you would fine a file named platform.cfg that is the workspace memory of that Update Manager install.
That said, you can dump plug-ins (and I hope a feature too) into the eclipse\plugins and eclipse\features directories, but I wouldn't...
The right approach depends on what you want to do and is it for one workspace or the full eclipse install. This is a detailed discussion, and one I'll post soon as a new entry.
 
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